Observons les oiseaux dans la Réserve naturelle régionale des Marais de Brière

The Guérande Peninsula is a veritable haven for many species of birds and abounds in many excellent ‘spots’ to observe them.  Today, we’re off towards the marshlands of La Brière for a game of ‘hide and seek’ with our feathered friends who live in the Regional nature Reserve Pierre Constant.
Marais de Brière à St-Malo de Guersac
After about 10 minutes of walking along the canal from Rozé to Saint-Malo de Guersac, we reach the entrance to the Regional natural Reserve of the Brière marshlands on the site named Pierre Constant, where Florence, guide/environmental expert for The Regional Natural Park of La Briere, is waiting for us.

The sight of the neat row of flat-bottomed boats along the channel, the reeds standing to attention, the vast expanse of water with Saint-Nazaire’s bridge in the background leaves us in no doubt we’ve arrived in La Brière!

With our binoculars at the ready around our necks and our boots on the ‘would-be-birdwatchers’ are ready to go!

Florence, animatrice environnement au Parc naturel régional de Brière


 « Are you all here for the nature outing » asks Florence. There are indeed fifteen or so people who are grouped together at the at the entrance to the gatehouse of Regional nature Reserve, holidaymakers making the most of the spring holidays and some local nature lovers who have come to (re)discover the marshes. 

 « I’m going to start with a short presentation about the area ». With the help of a map of the Guérande Peninsula, Florence points out to us the different zones which make up the area. « Here, we’re in the freshwater marshes, as opposed to the salt marshes of Guérande and du Mès » She adds some background information about the creation of the Regional Natural Park and the history of the marshlands and then we set off toward the bird observatory, only recently opened at the beginning of April. 

We make a stop, out away from the wind, hidden from view from the birds: at the ornithological observatory.


This wooden building which melts perfectly into the landscape houses a birdwatching area.  « Go ahead, open the shutters and make yourselves at home! » suggests Florence.  Each one of us finds a place on the little benches which offer an ideal position to observe the marshes.

From the safety of our ‘hidey-hole’, we enjoy the ‘show’ put on for us by the shelducks, the black-tailed godwits and various other species, enveloped in a completely spontaneous silence, all of us eager to share this precious moment together.  « here you are mummy, do you want my binoculars? » offers kindly 6 year old Rémi, who is still looking amazed by the take-off of the cormorants he’s just seen.   
  • Observation des oiseaux à la Réserve naturelle régionale Pierre Constant
  • Oiseaux de la Réserve naturelle régionale du marais de Brière
  • Ivan, petit reporter nature
  • Observatoire de la Réserve naturelle régionale du marais de Brière
  • Sortie nature à la Réserve naturelle régionale de Brière
  • Oies dans la Réserve naturelle régionale du marais de Brière
  • Observatoire de la Réserve naturelle régionale du marais de Brière
  • Réserve naturelle régionale Pierre Constant - Marais de Brière
  • Observatoire de la Réserve naturelle régionale du marais de Brière
  • Vue sur le bourg de Saint-Malo de Guersac depuis la Réserve naturelle régionale
  • Observatoire de la Réserve naturelle régionale du marais de Brière
  • Observation à la longue vue dans le marais de Brière

On tip-toe around the Regional Nature Reserve.

Up we go to the 1st floor of the observatory; it’s more exposed to the wind but affords a wider view across the marshes. Then Florence gives us access to the Reserve.  Straight away we seem to be taken over by the ‘explorer’ in us all:  gingerly picking our way along the banks, still a bit unstable after the recent winter, our gaze scouring the marshes, the reed beds and the sky to make sure we don’t lose sight of the whiskered Tern in flight, back from Africa a few days ago.  We listen intently to distinguish between the musical song of the bluethroat and the cries of the sedge warbler.
Ivan, petit reporter nature
If there’s one person who doesn’t miss a trick, its 10 year old Ivan, a real little reporter on the nature Reserve!
On holiday in the area with his parents, Ivan is a true nature lover.  With his note pad and pencil in hand, his binoculars around his neck, he sketches and writes down everything he sees and hears.  
« What sort of fish are there here? » asks a young boy.  He’s not disappointed by Florence’s reply as she gives him a list of ten or so different species of marsh fishes including; Eel, Pike, Carp, Roach, Bream and Perch.
The tour comes to an end with the observation of a bluethroat, balancing on the stem of a reed in the distance. « I got ‘im! » exclaims a lady. One of the participants delighted to share the beautiful shot she’s just taken with the group.  We head back to the gatehouse of the Reserve, our faces and hair windswept, but our spirits calm and rested after this magic moment spent in the heart of nature.

Would you also like to experience the wonders of time spent in the Regional nature Reseve Pierre Contant at St-Malo de Guersac? Then visit the website of the Parc naturel régional de Brière and find out more about the nature outings on offer. 

Please note : there is free access to the bird observatory 7/7 but the circuit around the Regional nature Reserve is only accessible as part of the nature outings and on a  ‘free-access basis’ during the months of July and August from 11h30 à 17h30.